Getting better muscle definition in your butt and hamstrings can be as hard as training for the rock 'n' roll marathon. By training these two muscle groups together, you can burn more calories in less time and increase lower-body strength than isolating your hamstrings and butt. If you are new to exercise, work with a qualified fitness coach before attempting to do any exercise routine on your own.
Calisthenic exercises work every muscle in your lower body, including your hamstrings and buttocks. Unlike working with machines that isolate your body parts, calisthenics teach you to move your muscles together like members of an orchestra to produce better movement. These exercises include squats, step-ups and lunges. You can vary these exercises by moving in different directions, such as lunging to the side or to the back, or adding upper-body movements, like adding a shoulder press when you stand up during a squat.
Adding a stability ball to your workout can improve core stability and body awareness as well as keeping your workout challenging to avoid boredom. Doing squats with a ball works your buttocks, legs and core altogether. To work your hamstrings more with the ball squat, lower your body at a rate of four seconds and stand up at a rate of two seconds. This places more stress upon your hamstrings and increases muscle growth. Another exercise you can do for your hamstrings is the ball leg curl. Lie on the floor on your back and put your calves on top of the ball. Lift your buttocks off the floor and curl your legs to bring the ball closer to your buttocks. Extend your legs carefully to push the ball away from you.
Power training for your lower body involves fast and hard contractions of your buttocks and legs in the shortest period of time. It also provides a high stimulus of muscle growth and increases your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories during and after your workout. In fact, your metabolism spikes up quickly and can continue to stay elevated for 15 minutes to 48 hours before your body returns to its resting state, according to exercise physiologist Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico. Sample power exercises include vertical jumps, box jumps, hopping side to side, depth jumps and sprinting.
Results occur during rest and recovery, according to physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance." If you overtrain, you are not giving yourself time for your body to heal and build new muscle tissues. After a hard workout, give yourself at least 24 hours to heal. Cook suggests that you do gentle exercises, such as yoga, tai chi and brisk walking, and just doing your favorite pastime.
- Western Washington University: Introduction to Plyometrics
- Athletic Body in Balance; Gray Cook
- DrLenKravitz.com: Exercise Afterburn
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.